Grateful Dead Live at Sports Arena on 1994-12-16
AUD(Nak 300 Shotguns)>Aiwa DAT>CD; via Henry Wankleswurth; Seeded to etree by neo_levo
Subject: Branford steps into furthering the "inspiration (which) moves me brightly"!
I'm just speculating, when I imagine that it could be possible and thus not surprise me, if someone were to criticize this performance in such a way, (although I've never heard any mention as such), as to be partial to Marsalis' New York appearances. I was lucky enough to have seen all of his guest appearances on the West Coast. Now I've heard and seen the recordings in the cases of the Madison Square Garden and Nassau shows, (with Branford) quite a few times. So, I believe I can say objectively even though I wasn't there for those, (I almost never review shows that I didn't actually attend, Hint, Hint)!
[If this next section doesn't make sense, don't worry about it. I hesitated to make the following analogy, since it requires so much subjective explanation. Believe it or not, I omitted some facts that lead me to this analogy in the first place.] Namely, even though they didn't play "Dark Star" here in L.A. at this show the fol owing is still relevant that is; I remember perceiving at that New Year's show, despite Branford's presence, the "Dark Star" as the weakest of the five "Dark Star"'s I've seen! Mostly because it was short and because of Jerry's illness of some sort at the time! However, I did see on a website similar to this, (which shall be remain nameless, partially because for reasons unknown, that critique, or set of critiques, has long since been removed), contradicting my assessment of the level of that "Dark Star". Coming from someone possessing what I "normally", or should I say otherwise, would consider an "expert opinion", (since apparently, this fellow had studied in detail, virtually every known recording of "Dark Star" and "The Other One", a scholarship to which, by the way, I don't claim membership)!
In so reasoning, probably I suspect in a similar way, (but never clarified as to how or why), as I do below, in referencing the same felling about "Eternity" here at this L.A. show ie. they really went "outside". I figure that must be kind of like, (since I just re-listened to the following the other day), the "Dark Star" they played in Miami in '89, (which I didn't attend), where although they really went "outside" (meaning, see below), Jerry sang very poorly. I say all this, because even though I have heard this and do remember the show as probably the best with Branford, (at least that I saw with him), I haven't heard it that many times; certainly not as many times as I have the New York shows, nor as recently even though I was there for this one!
Therefore, since I would like to remain credible given that, not only have I seen some bad or mediocre reviews recently, of what I remember to have enjoyed, (although my enjoyment was primarily bolstered by some rarity or new tune etc. in a given case), hence, just because this had Branford included doesn't guarantee it's high rating. ie. I'm trying to remain objective here, since far too many times have I found people raving how good a show was when I was quite certain of its' mediocrity.
Yet, in light of the fact that in general, (which I believe has more to do with my increasing lack of the wherewithal to obtain a recording shortly after a given show), as well as the frequency of how generic many of the shows were becoming, before the introduction of all, and I mean "all", of the then latest, and now obviously, the "last" set of new tunes). Thus this results in my certainty regarding a given show's level of intensity; being much greater in reference to early or midway, rather than of the later ones during the years I saw them perform, ('76 -'94). Thus tempering my confidence to the extent, that I should feel compelled to write all this.
Having at least once, wrote an over confident praise of a show, I hadn't heard in a very long time, due to the theft of my old recordings; and then later to realize I had exaggerated in reference to the performance, and in addition to besides that, the sound itself being disappointingly far worse than expected, ie. than what I had originally thought.
What I mean is, indeed Branford was inspiring for most all of us! But just because I was there and so was he, doesn't remove my hesitation to simply claim it's greatness without exception, thus potentially overstating the truth, as I did at least once before.
Nevertheless, I'm more confident in my memory of "Eternity" greatness as being particularly "outside", if you will! (An old jazz bebop expression, a term that gee, I haven't really used in a very long time ie. I don't say that lightly. Again, I guess Branford being a sax player, brings me back to saying that.)
So, rather than continue carrying on ad nauseam, with my efforts in conveying qualifications for my caution in applying adulation to reviewing this one, almost to the point of irrationally; perhaps it's more appropriate for me to reserve that for, (by not reviewing at all), the several shows I attended in this late era. For which, given that I had not soon there after, obtained a recording, and unlike this one, having a no direct clear cut legitimate reference, (ie. Branford as guest), with which to, despite the frequency and total, of my having listened to this one, being few and far between, mitigate that infrequent number of hearings, by Branford Marsalis' presence! But as I said to start with by implication in my title, probably and hopefully not, the only one; that thing with which mutually, I'm certain you'll are familiar with namely, that "inspiration moves me (us) brightly", (even though this doesn't have a Terrapin in it) and simply shut up, and give into saying : This is hot, get the download!
Subject: Wished I saw more
Subject: Great upgrade!
I only had a first set tape so far - with really weird digital sounds appearing now and then.
Happy I am!
Subject: Great show...just wish Branford played more shows with the boys.
Anyways this is a great show. The 'Eyes' are always magical with Branford and the 'Samba' is great here and sounds the way Vince played it with his Missing Man Formation.
Subject: So Many Roads
I'd SO love to hear a sbd or a better FOB of this.
Subject: The "SMR" project
Subject: A great night for mourning
Subject: 2 Stars
Not the best of the marsalis gigs, but The estimated prophet is unbelievable. The great surprise is that you think they are going into drums after this and the jam nicely into he's gone. The post space portion is a let down but man it's amazing to see what can happen when you bring a guest into the mix for one night.
Cringle: I think you are missing 12-31-90 Oakland. This was Branford's second show with them.
Subject: Branford Qs
As for this show, I'll wait for the SBD. Keep up the awesome work archive and etree - you are truly bestowing a blessing upon Dead Nation.
Subject: I'll Never Forget This One
I've been clean and sober for years, but I couldn't have felt any "higher". The music, the set and the sound was incredible. Download this show! You will hear THE BEST EVER "So Many Roads". Yes, for the encore, Pie and I were the two,uh,chicks dancing on stage. Thank you Steve Parish! Trust me on this one.This show was a real jem. I wish, as I'm sure we all do, there was just one more show. Just one more lick."The heart has it's seasons, it's beaches, it's songs of its's own" Or something like that......
Subject: Another 90's smoker!!
Subject: Here is an actual review for this show!!!
And then the second set - the main event, and looking back on it - the last time I ever saw God with the Grateful Dead.
A sweet 'Eyes' with Branford and Jerry feeding off each other - pure bliss. A throwaway 'Samba' and a somewhat choppy intro into 'Estimated' but then...KABOOM!!! The Estimated jam went somewhere North of the Crab Nebula which I can only describe as intense as any Dark Star I've ever heard - simply incredible! The label on the DAT of this show had an asterisk next to the Estimated, which read : "WARNING!! - Do not operate heavy machinery or take any cold medicines while listening to this!" Just when you thought they could go nowhere else except into a Dark Star after that unbelievable jam, they emerge with 'He's Gone' - well played, somewhat reduced in energy, but at least gave me a chance to locate my brain.
The rest of the show is fairly standard. Jerry's voice shot throughout. A solid 'Other One' and a fall apart 'Lucy'.
But I'll always remember that 'Estimated' which if for nothing else is the reason you should have this show (the 'Eternity' is a must have as well). Post 91' shows were often a frustrating experience, and 94 was a year in full decline, culminating in the death march of 95. But for one brief shining moment, it was all there - a little shaky, but there it was! I saw 93 shows in my tenure with The Dead, including the last show at Soldier Field. This show represents the last time I ever saw the Dead really 'bring it'.
A 5 rating only to bring the 'Estimated' to your attention - trust me folks, this is IT!!!
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